What are the Odds New Honeywell DIY Smart Home Hub Has Z-Wave, Alexa, Cellular? [UPDATED]
Honeywell to launch new 'Smart Security' system on Indiegogo. We guess what's inside the home-automation hub including Z-Wave and 345 Mhz radios. Updated: Perhaps a Lyric Security Controller in new form factor?
Julie Jacobson · October 25, 2017
Honeywell is launching a DIY 'Smart Home Security' system on Indiegogo Nov. 1, providing precious little information on the product other than an image of a cylinder that resembles a cloth-wrapped Amazon Echo with a video camera built in.
Honeywell doesn't say anything about home automation, but I'm giving it a 99% chance that Z-Wave is included in the product.
All Honeywell reveals is: "Honeywell Smart Home Security is an all-in-one, self-monitored and self-installed system."
There's also an image of the device flashing multicolored lights at its base.
What else might this product have? Here are my thoughts, along with the odds:
- Z-Wave | 99%
- 345 Mhz for security sensors | 92%
- Honeywell Total Connect as the SHaaS (smart home as a service) | 92%
- Optional pay-as-you-go professional security monitoring | 90%
- Cellular radio backup - optional | 87%
- Cellular radio - standard | 86%
- Integrates locally with other Honeywell Wi-Fi products including Lyric thermostats | 86%
- Price < $200 | 80%
- UL listed for security (requires back-up battery, among other things) | 75%
- Opportunity for Honeywell Total Connect dealers to capitalize | 70%
- Native Amazon Alexa | 50%
Assuming the new product incorporates a 345 MHz radio (known in the trade as 5800 series), Honeywell will have a nice advantage over other DIY security/automation systems. Honeywell makes dozens of compatible products, including keyfobs, smoke detectors, CO detectors, motion sensors, keypads and more.
345-MHz devices tend to be less expensive and more energy-efficient than their Wi-Fi and Z-Wave counterparts.
Similar narrowband technology is included in the new security and automation system from SmartThings and ADT (built by Nortek's 2Gig), but we don't see it many DIY products that aren't built by traditonal security manufacturers like Honeywell and 2Gig.
UL compliance would be important if Honeywell wants to allow its Total Connect dealers to capitalize on the new product. Most security dealers will not install and monitor systems that are not UL-rated for life-saftety (UL 1023) and/or fire detection (UL 985).
Or ... Could Just be Lyric Security in New Form Factor
Consumers might be familiar with the Honeywell Lyric Round Wi-Fi thermostat sold through many DIY channels. But Honeywell also has a line of security and automation products under the Lyric Security or Lyric Controller brand. The line is primarily sold through professional security dealers, rather than direct-to-consumer, but it is easily a solution that can be installed and configured by consumers or at least mass-market security dealers.
Honeywell claims the Lyric Controller is "the first-ever pro-installed and pro-monitored security system to include Apple HomeKit compatibility for control using voice with Siri, or the Apple Home app in iOS 10." The HomeKit feature was announced earlier this year.
Until then, Honeywell used its own voice-control technology for the Lyric Security since the product's debut in 2015.
Oddly, while the Lyric Thermostat and other Honeywell thermostats famously integrate with Amazon Alexa for voice control, it doesn't appear that Lyric Security integrates with either Alexa or Google Assistant at this time.
The Lyric controller lives in a 7-inch touchscreen display that also includes a built-in 2 MP camera, microphone, speaker, siren, USB port, SD card to record locally, back-up batter (4- or 24-hour options) and a bunch of radios:
- Cellular radio - optional (GSM or CDMA)
- 345 Mhz (to communicate 5800 Series sensors and detectors)
- SiX 2.4 GHz two-way wireless technology to support Lyric-specific wireless sensors
The system can be professionally monitored, and it can also tie into the Honeywell Total Connect cloud-based SHaaS platform for remote monitoring and management, as well as alerts and other interactive features.
The system can communicate locally with up to eight Honeywell IP cameras, accessible via the cloud with Total Connect.
So ... it's quite possible that the new Honeywell Security product is just a faceless Lyric Security system, nicely differentiated from the more pro-oriented version, which can be found online for about $300.
I guess we'll find out on Nov. 1 when the product launches on Indiegogo.
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Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Email Julie at [email protected]
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